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Massive electricity reading after electrician bypassed circuit breaker

Massive electricity reading after electrician bypassed circuit breaker

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Old 04-20-16, 08:04 AM
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Massive electricity reading after electrician bypassed circuit breaker

A "helpful" electrician bypassed my circuit breaker when he was unable to diagnose why I was having a power cut which had already lasted 5 days. Even after unplugging every appliance in the house, the breaker was still tripping so he disconnected it, saying it would be fine. He assumed it was due to some wet walls I had at the time, leaking into nearby sockets and said let them dry out, then he'd come back. Meanwhile, 8 weeks later, I had to get another electrician out who spent many hours diagnosing and putting wiring faults right. The following week my electrics bill came, showing a massive increase in my normal usage, ie around 4500 in 4 months rather than 500. One thing the 2nd electrician did was install an earth rod as there wasn''t even one of these in my house, which is 1950's. There were also various faults caused by over-spurring and new wiring on old, as well as not enough individual circuits. But noone that I know in the building trade can explain why the units used wentout of control during that period. By the way, once the 2nd electrician fixed the problems properly, the meter readings went back to normal, around 8-10 a day. Hope someone can explain!
 
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Old 04-20-16, 08:23 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by bypassed, but the readings you're listing are not far off from normal. 1100kwh per month would not be strange for a house with a couple electric appliances. 125kwh per month would be extremely low -- to the point I would think you either use almost no electricity, have some sort of illegal connection or have a faulty meter. Just a standard fridge would use that much not counting anything else in the house.
 
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Old 04-20-16, 08:26 AM
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Ben, the OP is not in the US. Maybe that's why it's different?
 
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Old 04-20-16, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for your reply. I've been using about 250 units a month for the 6 years I've lived here and there's about 3500 units unaccounted for in the 2 months the circuit breaker was bypassed. I do use very little as live alone and work fulltime, not really using many appliances. The electrics company are currently helping me look into it as they can see its completely out of character. They say the meter is working fine now. Would "letting the faults through"( ie they would have tripped out if the breaker had been operating) allow a constant surge through?? I see now that what he did was very risky and could have had a serious outcome, thankfully all put right now except for 445 arrears in electrics!
 
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Old 04-20-16, 08:59 AM
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I could see this being possible if you have a breaker that normally would trip or be in the off position which controlled a circuit with a huge load on it. Breakers do not restrict the flow of current -- it's either on or off. I have seen faulty underground cables to a garage or garden shed have a current leak to ground which ran up the usage. Or perhaps a water heater tank stuck in the on position which is boiling out through the pressure relief valve. However neither of these are well explained by the usage going up for a few months, then back down. Does the overage correlate with use of a central heating system which perhaps coincidentally overlaps the period where the electrician did the work?
 
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Old 04-20-16, 10:33 AM
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Ah well there's another funny part of the story! For that exact period, ie from when it was bypassed to the day it was corrected, my cold water taps were running hot for about 30 seconds, and then back to cold. Everyone says I must have been imagining it but it coincided to the day! I was on the verge of getting my boiler man over, but didn't as I was afraid of his safety, but it corrected itself. Another mystery.... It's a combi boiler if that makes any difference, running off oil but obviously with an electric supply. It was the same for the cold taps in the kitchen, and also the bathroom sink and bath.
 
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Old 04-21-16, 10:42 AM
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Leakage to a cold water pipe could cause unexplained power usage, hot water in the cold pipe and a breaker that wants to trip. If the water pipes are metal and not well bonded to the electrical system, I see that as a possible explanation.
Do you get any shocks in the shower?
 
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